Attorney Profile for  Keith A. Ashmus



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Keith is one of Ohio's best-known lawyers, having recently completed his term as President of the Ohio State Bar Association. He has been listed as one of Ohio's top 100 attorneys in the annual Ohio SuperLawyer listings, and has been included in every listing of Greater Cleveland's outstanding lawyers in the yearly Inside Business poll since it began in 2000. Keith's practice is focused on employment law, business law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is a past chair of both the Labor Law Section and the ADR Committee of the Cleveland Bar Association, and currently has presided over the Commercial Arbitration Advisory Panel of the American Arbitration Association. Committed to the community, he has chaired the Salvation Army's Greater Cleveland Advisory Board, serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and is past chair of COSE, the Council of Smaller Enterprises. All of this gives him a unique perspective that he puts to use serving clients.

On the national level, he is a leader in the National Small Business Association ( ) (the 2009 Chair), and a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.



  • "Family & Medical Leave Act: Recent Developments," Lorman, Independence, Ohio, March 2014.
  • "Human Resource Law - Wage & Benefit Issues," National Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2013.
  • "The Birth of the Affordable Care Act," Rochester, New York, September 2013.
  • "Navigating the Affordable Care Act from an Employer's Perspective," ALFA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 2013.
  • "Basics of Employment Law," OSBA, Columbus, Ohio, April 2012
  • "Federal Health Care Reform: What Should Employers Expect," Frantz Ward Labor & Employment Seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, May 2011
  • "What to Look for in Employment Law," Cleveland, Ohio, December 2011
  • "Advanced Employment Law: Working Through Common Problems - Workplace Violence," National Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, March 2010
  • "Small Business Access to Capital," National Funders Association, Great Lakes Chapter, Cleveland, Ohio, March 2010
  • "Dust & Silica," Wooster, Ohio, August 2009
  • "Fair Labor Standards Act," Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, August 2009
  • "Leaves of Absence - Managing Protected Absence from Work," Ohio Labor & Employment Law Institute, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, May, June 2009
  • "Family & Medical Leave Act Recent Developments," Independence, Ohio, January 2009
  • "Employment Discrimination Law," National Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2009
  • "Election 2008:  What's Ahead," Brook Park, Ohio October 2008
  • "Employment Law Update," Independence, Ohio, October 2008
  • "Ohio Health Families Act," COSE, various locations in Ohio, August 2008
  • "Lipstick on a Pig - 2008 Elections and Small Business," Small Business Conference, October 2008
  • "Davis-Bacon Act," National Business Institute, July 2008
  • "Prevailing Wages, History and Overview," Lorman Education Services, Canton and Cleveland, 2006, 2007 and 2008
  • "Health Care Reform," Moderator, National Small Business Association, Sarasota, Florida, February 2005
  • "The Fair Labor Standards Act," OSBA, CLE, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, February 2005, 2006 and 2007
  • "Amendments to FLSA Regulations," OSBA, CLE, Cleveland, Ohio, August 2004
  • "Future for the Legal Profession," General Assembly, Cleveland, Ohio, May 2004
  • "Professionalism," New Lawyer Training, Columbus, Ohio, June 2003
  • "Section and Committee Conundrum," National Association of Bar Executives, Seattle, Washington, February 2003
  • "Innovative Business Strategies," Center for Families & Children Public Policy Matters 2002, September 2002
  • "Ethics and Professionalism in the Practice of Labor Law," Cleveland Bar Association Northern Ohio Employment & Labor Law Conference, May 2001
  • "OSHA Developments Affecting Construction Sites," Lorman Education Services, Independence, Ohio, September 2002
  • "Project Labor Agreements," Lorman Education Services, Independence, Ohio, September, 2000
  • "New Fair Labor Standards Act Regulations" - OSBA CLE, Cleveland, Ohio 2004
  • "Committee and Section Leadership" - National Conference of Bar Presidents, Seattle, Washington, 2003
  • "Supreme Court Election Advertising" - Cary, North Carolina 2003
  • "Professionalism" - New Lawyers Training Program, OSBA CLE, Columbus, Ohio 2003
  • "Ethics in the Practice of Labor and Employment Law" - Cleveland Bar Association 2002
  • "FMLA and ADA" - HR Forum, Columbus, Ohio 2000
  • "Ethics in Mediation" - ABA ADR Section Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio 1998
  • "Current Issues in OSHA Enforcement" - Ohio Cast Metals Association, Columbus, Ohio 1997
  • "Substantive Issues in OSHA" - Valley Education Institute, Independence, Ohio 1997
  • "Americans with Disabilities Act" - Human Resource Managers Legal Forum, Tallmadge, Ohio 1996
  • " Discharge & Documentation - Employment Myths" - Lohrman Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio 1995
  • "Current Development in Substance Abuse" - Institute of Business Law, Westlake, Ohio 1995
  • "The Employment Law Minefield" - Lohrman Education Services, Independence, Ohio 1995
  • "The Four-Headed Monster - FMLA, ADA, Workers Compensation and OSHA" - Council on Education in Management, Toledo, Ohio 1994
  • " OSHA Update" - Council on Education Management, Toledo, Ohio 1994
  • "Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Employment Context" - Institute of Business Law, Independence, Ohio 1993
  • "Family & Medical Leave Act" - Ohio CLE Institute, Sandusky, Ohio 1994
  • "ADA Compliance" - Benefits EXPO, Cincinnati, Ohio 1993
  • " Smokers and Non-Smokers' Rights in the Workplace" - Institute of Business Law, Independence, Ohio 1993
  • "OSHA Programs & Policies" - 1993 Workers Compensation Seminar 1993
  • "Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993" - WEB, Cleveland Chapter 1993
  • "Updating OSHA" - Advanced Educational Seminars 1992
  • "New Developments in Employment Litigation - 1991 Civil Rights Act and the ADA" - Ohio CLE Institute 1992
  • "Advance Directives for Health Care" - Cleveland Board of Rabbis & Bay Methodist Church 1992
  • "Overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act" - Council of Smaller Enterprises 1992
  • "Just in Time Staffing" - Employment Management Association's 4th Annual Seminar 1991
  • " The Americans with Disabilities Act at the Bargaining Table" - Industrial Relations Council 1990
  • "Recent OSHA Developments" 1990
  • "Temporary Employment and the Law" - 5th Annual Meyer Sarkin Conference, Jewish Vocational Services 1989
  • "Hiring & Firing" - COSE 1987, 1988, 1989
  • "Legislative Mandates in the Workplace" - COSE, 1988
  • "Sexual Harassment" - California Business Law Institute 1988
  • "Employee Motivation" - INC. 500 Conference 1988
  • "Complex ADEA Issues in Retirement Plans" - Cleveland Bar Labor Seminar 1988
  • "Principles of Recordkeeping" - COSE 1988
  • "Title VII After Twenty Years - Cleveland Bar Corporate Counsel Section 1985
  • "Appropriate Units in Health Care Institutions" - Cleveland Bar Labor Seminar 1984
  • "Public Sector Labor Relations - How to Win a Strike: The Employer's Viewpoint" - Cleveland Bar Labor Seminar 1984
  • "Establishing Hospice Lawyer Volunteer Programs" - ABA Young Lawyers Division, Denver, Colorado
  • "A Lawyer's Role in Helping to Cope with Serious Illness" - The Cancer Project, Cleveland, various times 1981-1983
  • "Occupational Safety & Health Law" - COSE 1981

Representative Matters:

  • Special Appellate Counsel before Administrative Review Board in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower case for Fortune 500 company.
  • Argued in Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of Ohio Management Lawyers Association in Bricker v. Western Southern Ins. Co., in which Supreme Court rejected public policy claim for termination during workers compensation leave.
  • Arbitration hearing, commercial case involving sale of line of business. Represented defendant seller, Fortune 100 corporation. Claim was $55,000,000; lowest demand $14,000,000; award $6,000,000, plus prejudgment interest.
  • Kimberly Miller v. Denny's Restaurants, Inc. - Sexual harassment, retaliation case tried to defense jury verdict in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Judge Donald Nugent.
  • Fred Buelow v. Vocational Guidance Services - Whistleblower retaliation/public policy case in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Ohio, Judge Kenneth Callahan. Summary judgment obtained and upheld on appeal. (CHUBB case).
  • Brenda Dunn v. National Interstate Insurance Co. - Pregnancy discrimination, retaliation claim by terminated Vice President, tried to defense jury verdict in Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Judge Ralph McAllister.
  • Ivan Iricanin v. Morrison Knudsen Corporation - Claim for discrimination based upon diagnosis of cancer. Tried (after plaintiff's death) to defense jury verdict in Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Judge George McMonagle
  • Keith also serves as a neutral mediator or arbitrator in business and employment disputes.


  • Recipient of the “William Booth” Award—The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland (2016)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Employment Law-Management; Labor Law-Management; and Litigation-Labor and Employment (2006-2017) 
  • Salvation Army "Others"  Award, 2007
  • Chambers USA listing of Employment Counsel
  • Named one of Ohio's Top 100 Lawyers by Cincinnati Magazine and, 2004
  • Inside Business Listing of Outstanding Lawyers in Cleveland, 2001-2008
  • Listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law
  • Vocational Guidance Services- Volunteer of the Year, 1985,1986
  • National Hospice Organization-Outstanding Volunteer, 1982
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon Award for Highest Scholarship (4.0 Average) in Graduate Economics Program, 1972
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1971
  • Phi Kappa Phi, 1971
  • MSU Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Winner, 1967
  • Admitted to Honors College, 1967





Phone: (216) 515-1609

Practice Areas:

Practice Groups:


  • J.D., Yale University, 1974
  • M.A., Michigan State University, 1972
  • B.A., Michigan State University, 1971


  • Ohio State Bar, 1974
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 1974
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
  • California Bar, 1991
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California, 1991
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California, 1991
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1991
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 2000
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2005


Community Involvement:

  • Past Chairman, Advisory Board of the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland
  • Past President of The Village Foundation
  • Member of Governor Voinovich's Workers Compensation Health Care Quality Advisory Council
  • Member of Board of Trustees Ohio State Bar Foundation
  • Bay's Investment In The Future
  • Past Chair Council of Smaller Enterprises
  • Institute for Personal Health Skills, Skills Available
  • Hospice Council for Northern Ohio
  • Cleveland Foundation Hospice Study
  • Cleveland City Club
  • Board member Greater Cleveland Partnership (Member, Finance and Executive Committees)
  • Funders Committee, Fund for our Economic Future
  • Leadership Cleveland, Vice Chair, Class of 2002


  • Co-Author of blog focusing on Labor and Employment issues -
  • How Employers Can Prepare For The Perils of ‘Pokemon Go,’” Law360 (July 2016)
  • Chapter Coordinator, The Fair Labor Standards Act (ABA/BNA 1999)
  • Co-Author, Model Employee Policies for Ohio Employers - With Legal Commentary (COSE 1997)
  • Co-Author, Wrongful Discharge Under Ohio Law (Cambridge Institute, 1987, 1989)
  • Co-Author, "Public Sector Bargaining in a Democracy-An Assessment of the Ohio Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law," 33 Cleveland State Law Review 595 (1985)
  • Co-Author, Public Sector Collective Bargaining: The Ohio System (Labor Relations Press 1984)
  • "EPLI Fills Gaps in Job-Related Suits", Crain's Cleveland Business, 1998
  • "What Are the Limits of Zealous Advocacy in Mediation?", Cleveland Bar Journal, 1997
  • "The More Things Change, the More Things Change", Cleveland Enterprise, 1997
  • "COBRA", Small Business News, 1992; "Big Business Opportunities" - COSE Update, 1992
  • "Neutral Evaluators Speed Lawsuit Settlements" - Small Business News, 1992
  • "Using Early Neutral Evaluation" - Cleveland Bar Journal, 1992
  • "Legal Headaches Can Offset Employer's Best Intentions" - COSE Update, 1991
  • "Promises Made to Workers Can Backfire, Cause Lawsuits" - The Plain Dealer, 1991
  • "Mutual Respect Can Benefit a Company and Its Lawyer" - The Plain Dealer, 1990
  • "Avoid Legal Roadblocks through Planning" - COSE Update, 1990
  • "Maternity Leave Costly to Small Business" - COSE Update, 1989
  • "Why Succession Planning Is Often a Difficult Pill to Swallow" - COSE Update, 1989
  • "Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Own a Computer" - COSE Update, 1989
  • "How to Have a Successful Fringe Benefit Program" - COSE Update, 1989
  • "How You Hire and Fire Employees Could Land You In Court" - COSE Update, 1989
  • Various President's and Chairman's Columns in Ohio Lawyer and COSE Update (2003-2004)